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"Working Longer"

Research exploring employment patterns of older Americans

The Employment & Disability Institute begins research in October on causes and consequences of age discrimination charges.

A $174,458 grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation is funding the analysis, which will be part of the foundation's "Working Longer" program.

"While most studies related to this issue have focused on how individually based factors such as health status, pension plans, and financial incentives influence the decision to retire, relatively little is known about employment patterns, obstacles to employment, or the ensuing economic impact," according to the Working Longer program.

In 2010, the foundation started awarding grants to expand understanding of aging Americans' work patterns. The goal of Working Longer is to understand:

  • employer practices by industry and sector
  • obstacles to continued employment of older Americans
  • economic impacts on individuals and the federal budget.

Charges filed under the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act will be examined to learn who files them against whom and which employers are most at risk, said Research Associate Sarah von Schrader of the Employment & Disability Institute.

The study findings, based on Equal Employment Opportunity Commission charge data, will be distributed to both scholarly and non-academic audiences, she said.

The institute's work on the project is slated to continue through March 2015.